Wyoming Preview 2006 - Further Analysis

Posted Aug 7, 2006

Wyoming Cowboys Preview 2006 - UW Further Analysis

1st and Ten – “You mean there are no more Bramlets left?” – For the past five years, the Bramlet family has seen one of their own as the starting QB for the Cowboys.  From 2001 through 2003, Casey Bramlet set the precedent for his brother to follow, throwing for nearly 9,700 yards and 56 touchdowns.  Corey, his younger brother, then took over during the 2004 and 2005 seasons, leading the Cowboys to the Las Vegas Bowl after the 2004 season.  So, with Wyoming all out of Bramlets to take snaps from center, the onus of the Wyoming program falls on the shoulders of, well, hmm, well, whose shoulders does the pressure fall on in 2006?  During the 2005 season, Jacob Doss did get the opportunity to get on the field.  Consequently, Stinson Dean returns after sitting behind both Bramlet and Doss and should be in the QB competition.  But, the job may ultimately go to talented redshirt freshman Karsten Bram…, errr, sorry, old habits die hard, Karsten Sween.  The redshirt freshman is thought to have an absolute howitzer, but the one aspect that Bramlet struggled with last year was turning the ball over.  As such, it doesn’t matter how strong Sween’s arm is if he’s throwing to MWC opponents.  But, Sween might not be the guy, if Doss does enough to hang onto the starting spot.  No matter who does end up behind center at least he’ll have the opportunity to throw to Jovon Bouknight.  Psst, hey.  What?  He’s gone, too?  Well, his name isn’t Bramlet, so why is he gone?  Either way, the All-MWC WR is out of eligibility in addition to the Bramlets - all of the Bramlets.  Consequently, the Cowboy QB, no matter who it is, must establish a synergy with one returning starter, second leading receiver, Michael Ford and a group of inexperienced receivers, which includes return standout Hoost Marsh.  Starting a QB not named Bramlet will take some time to get used to, but whether it’s Doss or Dean or Sween, the spotlight will be hot and bright on one of them this fall.

2nd and Seven – Crunch Time – The stereotypical Cowboy is a tough, unyielding leader.  The Marlboro man, without the cigarettes (this is college football after all).  Meet Mr. Cowboy, safety John Wendling, who epitomizes the stereotypical ‘Cowboy’ definition with his style of play.  As one of the toughest and hardest hitting defenders in the Mountain West Conference, Wendling racked up 75 tackles from his free safety position this year and is the leader for this defense.  But, the senior from, yeah, right, Rock Springs?  How perfect!  Regardless, Wendling is a physical specimen and could be a major surprise come April for the 2007 NFL Draft (he’s a 6’3”, 220 pound 4.39/40 inch vertical ath-o-lete), but that’s probably the last thing on Wendling’s mind.  He’s got a youthful secondary that he’s got to take care of and some MWC receivers to knock out in 2006.

3rd and Three – Seldon-ly used – The Cowboys haven’t had a 1,000 yard rusher since 1998.  Seven seasons have passed since Marques Brigham ran for 1,114 but that ‘run’ (no pun intended) of no 1,000 yard rushers should end this year as Wynel Seldon enters his second season as the Cowboys go-to running back.  The 6’, 205 pound back ran for 871 yards last season, but has the opportunity to hit the 1,000 yard mark this season running behind an experienced and talented line, led by one of the conference’s best tackles, Chase Johnson.  The Cowboy offensive tackle has been honorable mention All-MWC the last two years, and is one of four returning starters from last year.  With a, well, a rookie at QB, the running game should be the foundation of the offense and Seldon, the star.

4th and One – Rising or Falling? – A much different feeling hovers around the Wyoming Cowboy program than the one that existed last year at this time.  Riding the wave of a Las Vegas Bowl win over UCLA, Joe Glenn and the Cowboys were the ‘ascending/improving/stock rising/hot/insert adjective of your own’ program in the MWC.  Flash forward 365 days, six losses to finish the season later, and the questions of where this Cowboy program is going are prevalent again.  Add to the fact that the Cowboys return only six starters from last year; this is a key year for Glenn and the coaching staff.  Now, the man helped make Wyoming football relevant again, so there’s definitely some room for error, if you will, but at this time last year, Glenn was a hot candidate for major D1A jobs.  So, if this a ‘choose your path’ novel, what path do Glenn and the Cowboys take?  Is this another bowl year or is this another three or four win year on the downward cycle of mediocrity?  Rising or falling?  What’ll it be?

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